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A four-member pre-election assessment team from the African Union Commission has concluded a two-day working visit to Somalia.

The team, which arrived in Mogadishu on a fact-finding mission, pledged more support from the African Union, to Somalia’s political processes.

“The situation in Somalia requires that we engage fully and in a more robust manner to be able to support AMISOM. We are aware of the fact that as AMISOM gains ground, the requisite stability to support the security situation is sometimes lacking and this sometimes leads to reversal. For overall security in Somalia, there is need to have the political element to support and give more permanent nature to the security that is created by AMISOM,” Mr. Olabisi Dare, the Head of the AU Humanitarian Division in the Political Department, of the African Union Commission and leader of the delegation said.

Mr. Olabisi reaffirmed the African Union’s support to Somalia beyond the forthcoming elections. He said the 54-member continental body was keen to support the growth of the country’s institutional structures and federalization process.

 

“We want to support this particular electoral process, but then beyond that, we need to develop institutional capacity, that then gives the state the capability to be able to run itself,” Olabisi said.

During their visit, the delegation met with the senior leadership of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Federal Government of Somalia, representatives of political organisations, civil society, the Federal Indirect Elections Implementation Team, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) Mr. Raisedon Zenenga and the UNSOM technical election team.

“Without the achievements made by AMISOM in creating the space, for the political process to make progress, we would not be where we are today. What has not been achieved today on the political front is not for want of sufficient security space. The security space to achieve what was set for 2016 is there,” Mr. Raisedon Zenenga noted, during consultations with the AU team in his office.

The pre-election assessment team will make recommendations to the African Union Commission, which will inform continued support to AMISOM and guide an election observer mission to monitor the August – September electoral process.



 

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